Most people believe Brexit has HELPED the UK’s huge vaccination drive as the EU struggles with supply shortages and chaotic rollout
- EXCLUSIVE: Poll finds most Britons believe that Brexit has helped vaccine drive
- Some 35 per cent said leaving the EU had been useful for the massive effort
- While the UK’s numbers have racked up the bloc has struggled with supplies
Most Britons believe Brexit has helped the UK’s vaccine drive – as the EU struggles with a chaotic rollout and supply shortages.
A poll for MailOnline shows the contrast between the rapid progress in Britain and the problems in the bloc have not been lost on the public.
Some 35 per cent said leaving the EU had been useful for the massive national effort, compared to 20 per cent who thought it had been a hindrance.
Around a quarter said they thought it had a neutral effect, and 19 per cent said they were not sure, according to the research by Redfield & Wilton Strategies.
While the UK hit the milestone of 10million people given jabs yesterday, the EU’s programme has descended into a shambles with the central regulator far slower to sign off jabs and the bloc moving too late to secure supplies.
The fallout on the continent triggered threats from Ursula von der Leyen to bar exports to the UK and impose a hard border with Northern Ireland, which was later humiliatingly dropped.
And Emmanuel Macron was among the leaders who launched baseless attacks on the effectiveness of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca jab – even though the EU has been desperately trying to obtain stocks.
In the poll for MailOnline 35 per cent said leaving the EU had been useful for the massive national effort, compared to 20 per cent who thought it had been a hindrance
Ministers have claimed that Britain was able to act far more nimbly to sign contracts and get vaccinations going because of Brexit and using its own MHRA watchdog.
Boris Johnson roasted Keir Starmer yesterday for having supported the UK staying in the European Medicines Agency after Brexit.
He taunted a clearly infuriated Sir Keir at PMQs yesterday that the UK’s Covid-19 vaccine programme would still be at the ‘starting blocks’ under Labour.
The poll for MailOnline found that in the East of England the proportion surveyed who said Brexit had helped was as high as 45 per cent.
Even in Scotland, which voted heavily for Remain, more people thought it had been useful for vaccines, albeit only by 29 per cent to 28 per cent.
Nicola Sturgeon wriggled today as she was grilled over whether Brexit had been helpful on vaccines.
During an interview on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, the First Minister was asked about comments made by SNP MP Dr Philippa Whitford last July when she said the UK Government should be working on procurement with EU partners.
Susanna Reid what had happened over recent months ‘must be one of the most powerful arguments for Brexit’.
The SNP leader replied snippily: ‘I think there’s a bigger point but I’m not going to sit here and say anything other than I think it’s really good that the UK has managed to procure as much vaccine and that the UK as a whole is getting ahead in terms of vaccine.
The vaccine fallout on the continent triggered threats from Ursula von der Leyen to bar exports to the UK and impose a hard border with Northern Ireland, which was later humiliatingly dropped
Nicola Sturgeon wriggled today as she was grilled over whether Brexit had been helpful on vaccines
‘We all have an interest in seeing all countries get the populations vaccinated because this is a global pandemic but I think the UK is in a very strong position.
‘That the vaccination procurement and the approval of the vaccines started while the UK was still in the EU transition period, the rules around the European Medicines Agency would have allowed that to happen anyway.’
She added: ‘Of course you can make that argument but sometimes I think it’s a slightly over-simplistic argument, but we should all be pleased that the vaccination programme is going so well.
‘The issues around Brexit are much wider and more fundamental but even on this narrow point I think if you were to apply really detailed scrutiny it wouldn’t be quite that simple.
‘The UK, even if it had still been in the EU under the rules of medicines approval would still have been able to take decisions around vaccines as it has done.’
:: Refield & Wilton Strategies polled 1,700 adults online on February 3. Data were weighted to represent the wider population.